Fewer whooping cough cases - disease remains dangerous
After the whooping cough infection in Germany reached a new high last year, the number of diseases in Baden-Württemberg has decreased since the beginning of the year. How the trend will continue during the year is not yet foreseeable. The disease is particularly dangerous for young children.
Especially dangerous for infants
Whooping cough (pertussis) occurs all year round, but the infections are generally somewhat more common in autumn and winter. In southwestern Germany, however, the number of whooping cough cases fell at the beginning of the year. Nevertheless, the childhood disease, which also occurs in adults, remains dangerous, especially for infants.
No forecast can be made at this time
In Baden-Württemberg, the number of whooping cough cases fell at the beginning of the year. According to a report by the "Stuttgarter Zeitung", the regional council in Stuttgart announced that from the turn of the year to the beginning of February 266 cases were registered across the country.
According to the information, there were significantly more with 390 diseases in the same period of the previous year.
According to the authority, however, no forecasts could be made. So early in the year it is not yet clear to what extent the trend will continue in the further course of the year.
Prolonged dry cough
The infectious disease is particularly dangerous for infants, sometimes even life-threatening.
The respiratory infection caused by bacteria initially leads to mild cold symptoms such as runny nose, cough and weakness in those affected.
A protracted, dry cough is typical later. According to health experts, there are spasmodic coughing pains, which often end with a wheezing of the air.
The numerous coughing fits occur mainly at night in many patients. An infection usually lasts about four to six weeks.
According to doctors, whooping cough can only be successfully combated with antibiotics at an early stage.
Experts call for vaccination
The transmission of the highly contagious disease "occurs through droplet infection, which can occur through close contact with an infectious person, through large droplets within a distance of up to approx. 1 meter through coughing, sneezing or speaking," writes the Robert Koch Institute (RKI) on his website.
The incubation period is usually nine to ten days (range: six to 20 days).
Prevention is particularly important. The Standing Vaccination Commission (STIKO) recommends starting the basic immunization against whooping cough, consisting of four vaccine doses, from the age of two months and completing it by the 14th month of life at the latest.
The vaccination should be refreshed once at the age of five to six and from nine to 17 years.
"All adults should be vaccinated once against pertussis," said the RKI. Not only to protect yourself from illness, but also to protect other people from infection.
"This is particularly important for infants," the experts explain. Because: “Babies can only be vaccinated against pertussis from the second month of life and have no natural nest protection against the disease. They are therefore dependent on the passive protective effect of immunizing the people around them. ”(Ad)